Carlin’s Felipe Nasr scythed his way through the pack from 8th on the grid to claim a hugely impressive win in Italy – his second victory of the weekend.
Victory for Nasr looked almost impossible for the Brazilian as he fell back to 11th place after getting boxed in by surrounding drivers at the start. But being bogged down off the line did little to stifle his flare as he quickly resumed the blistering pace seen in the first two races and began to charge through the field. The 40-minute session certainly played to Nasr’s advantage, but even with the extra laps, Felipe was up to 6th place by lap 7. Pietro Fantin was up next, followed by Kevin Magnussen – an easy target after sustaining front wing damage. Lap 11 saw Nasr sweep past Jazeman Jaafar and fellow South American Carlos Huertas. Nasr was effortlessly showing his team-mates what their Dallara-Mercedes were capable of.
Fortec Motorsport’s Lucas Foresti had been leading rather comfortably until Nasr arrived at his gearbox. The pair engaged in an intense battle for the lead over the second half of the race, with Nasr relentlessly hounding Foresti and forcing the leading Brazilian to use every bit of tarmac to defend himself from the flying Felipe. Eventually Nasr out-manoeuvred his fellow country-man after lining him up through Curva Grande then pouncing into the 2nd chicane.
Carlin’s Jaafar fought hard for the final step on the podium, finishing ahead of pole-sitter William Buller (who endured another tough race) and Huertas. Round 2 winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook finished in 6th place ahead of Pietro Fantin, Magnussen and Pipo Derani respectively. Fortec’s Fahmi Ilyas scored his first British F3 points with a 10th place finish. Once again, Bart Hylkema brought his T-Sport car home in 19th to make it a Rookie Class clean sweep at the Italian circuit.
Nasr was unsurprisingly elated with his race: “This race was really exciting for me. I lost a lot of places on lap one so I had to try to stay out of trouble and take each car one by one. I was really quick so I saw the win was possible. I had a great battle with Lucas; he was the hardest one to pass. This has been a really great start to my season, I am very pleased.”
Despite having track position for the majority of the race, Foresti was still pleased with 2nd place: “Felipe was very tough to keep behind me and in the end he passed me, but this is a great result for me and for Fortec.”
With 2 wins and a 2nd place in Italy, Nasr takes an opportunstic and healthy lead in the British F3 championship. The series continues next week at Oulton Park on 23-25 April.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 3, Monza ITA 17/4/2011
21 laps / 75.592 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Felipe NASR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 40m 37.942s / 111.60mph
2 Lucas FORESTI, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +2.114s
3 Jazeman JAAFAR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +5.542s
4 William BULLER, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +6.125s
5 Carlos HUERTAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +6.437s
6 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.879s
7 Pietro FANTIN, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +8.707s
8 Kevin MAGNUSSEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +9.473s
9 Pipo DERANI, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +13.602s
10 Fahmi ILYAS , Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +14.152s etc
Provisional results Rookie class
1 Bart HYLKEMA, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +41.861s
Fastest lap: Nasr 1m 46.298s / 121.91mph
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 51 points; 2 Jaafar 33; 3 Buller 30; 4 Huertas 25; 5 Svendsen-Cook 24;6 Foresti 17 etc
Rookie class: 1 Hylkema 33.
Full Results Here: http://www.imagevaults.co.uk/monzaf3/05_race3.pdf